It’s just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday night when I wheel through the front door of my condo unit. There he is, our 10-year-old grandson Nicholas: hockey stick in hand, stick handling his plastic green puck on our kitchen floor. I can’t wait to tell him about the telephone call I got from Alison Redford’s office 4 ½ hours earlier, sharing news about the Alberta Health Services reversing the decision about home care contracts. I have cerebral palsy, use a wheelchair and have home care services in our condo — something AHS wanted to farm out to a new provider July 31, which could have meant dire changes. But after Thursday’s decision we can carry on with our user-driven program.
“We won, Nick,” I said. He smiled and then said: “I won, too, Papa. I went outside today at school and we had a paper airplane contest. So I built one and threw it. And it went all the way across the parking lot and it was the farthest anyone threw. I won, Papa.”
I hugged Nic, perhaps tighter than I usually do. I thought how precious that story was and how he told me as soon as I got in the door. I thought how, without AHS’ reversal, I could have had to move into a nursing home. I thought of Nic coming to visit me in a hospital-like room after supper, several hours removed from that paper airplane toss, and how some of the excitement would be gone. I thought of how lucky I am to be able to stay in my own home and have the honor of babysitting Nic, who lost his mother in March to cancer.
After our hug, I gave Nic our traditional fist pump. “We both won today, Nic,” I said.